THERE they are!

After dominating with offense in their first six games, the Lakers reminded everyone (probably including themselves) that they earned back to back titles with their defense and that is how they will earn a third. In their first true challenge this season (or so many thought), the home team greeted the 5-2 Portland Trailblazers with an early knockout from which the young team never recovered. The Lakers led by 15 after one quarter, 22 after two quarters, and led by as many as 29 by the fourth quarter until the buzzer sounded and a 25 point beatdown had been recorded.

In his post-game locker interview, Matt Barnes mentioned that he and Ron Artest (11 points on 5-8), schemed to work together to stop the leading scorer on every opposing team.

“If you cut the head off the snake,” Barnes said, “it’s hard to win.”

At the top of the Lakers’ list of chores tonight was to contain the Blazers’ head honcho, Brandon Roy. Charged with the bulk of the responsibility was Artest, but it would take every Laker on the floor to stop such a crafty scorer. Roy had just four points in each of the game halves, going 1-6 for the night. Reported to be experiencing some pain in his back and knee, Roy was limited even without the Laker defense smothering him, but it shows that he remains, even with veteran Andre Miller taking on the scoring load, the head of Portland’s snake.

Kobe Bryant, who had a less than pedestrian night by Mamba standards (12 points on 3-11, two rebounds, one assists), said that the strength of this Lakers team is that their opponents are forced to choose which player to contain. If and when the other team chooses the recipient of their defensive attention, the Lakers have other options. In other words, these defending Champs have more than just the mamba; they are a multi-headed serpent.

Tonight, the Blazers may have chosen to put their defensive efforts on Bryant, and it worked, but they had nothing for Lamar Odom, who earned yet another double-double. He had 21 points on 10-15, including one from downtown as the shot clock began to run out early in the fourth quarter. For the season thusfar, Odom is shooting 63% from the field and 67% from three. As if Mr. Versatility’s scoring efficiency wasn’t already a problem for Portland, he had to be hungry at the glass as well, collecting 14 boards.

The Blazers had nothing for Pau Gasol either, who earned another triple-double to add to his endless list of accomplishments. With still three minutes left in the third quarter, Gasol assisted on an Artest layup, completing his trip-dub stat line – 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Gasol shot 9-13, 69% and as usual, killed his opponent through his smorgasbord of moves – right-handed hook, left-handed hook, offensive rebound then putback. And then, to help him show off even more, Steve Blake caught a steal, ran freely to the Lakers hoop, caught his teammate out of the corner of his eye, tossed the ball against the backboard, Gasol caught it with both hands and then rammed it into the basket. +27 on the night – enough said.

The Lakers were too much for Portland to handle. The visitors were outrebounded 49-25, out-assisted 33-21, and out-benched 45-42. Every Laker starter scored in double figures, including two Renegades off the pine with Shannon Brown (15 points on 6-12) continuing his confident shooting and Matt Barnes (13 points on 6-7, six rebounds, four assists) continuing with his hustle.

If this is just the beginning of dominating performances to come for the Lakers, no other monsters in the league are safe; not even that green-eyed beast from Boston or that three-headed creature in Miami.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts: THIS should be the Lakers’ first real challenge thusfar.
Half-time Thoughts: 36-58 – There’s no way else to describe the Lakers’ play so far but DOMINANT. Their defense is solid (Portland’s shooting just 36%!) and they’re shooting 51%. Pau Gasol is leading the way with 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Prepare for a triple double from our Spaniard.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: 15 turnovers maybe? Nah, compared to the 21 they had earlier this season, 15 isn’t so bad.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Mr. Consistency, Pau Gasol, overworked due to Andrew Bynum’s absence, killed Portland with every part of his game – 20 points on 9-13, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and ZERO turnovers. The absence of his name in MVP conversations is beyond ignorance.

  • John Robertson A. Dayao

    Superb game by the Lakers, a well-balanced attack from the starters up to the bench.

    Brown’s shooting is for real and as a whole, the Lakers are far more dangerous now from the 3point area.

    REBOUNDS + SUPERIOR SHARING OF THE BALL + CONSISTENT SHOOTING FROM THE BENCH = TOTAL DOMINATION

  • Robert.

    Kobe said it in the post game interview. “The Lakers will be hard to beat”.
    .
    They looked ‘dominant’ against their nemesis. If the Lakers win in Portland, then it will be a done deal.

  • Cody

    The best part of the game for me other then a LAKER blow out, was having Luke Babbitt on this team miss every shot he took. Why you ask, well I know the guy personally and he was a close friend. I went to high school with him he is class of 08 and I’m 09. It’s funny because I always knew he would go pro and we always had arguments about his first game vs my LAKERS. He hates the LAKERS because he is a fool and he always said he would do work on us. Well missing every shot including your two free throws isn’t doing work Mr. babbitt. Don’t worry everyone, I texted him and let him know it :D

    • Robert.

      Geez. Our Luke did better than ‘their’ Luke! Walton looked pretty good (yes, he missed a couple of shots, but again, his court IQ is pretty high), and he had a couple of assists in addition to ‘leading’ the bench for a few minutes.
      .
      (Although, there was a 3 minute stretch when the bench started playing sloppy, but they did not lose the great lead the starters created).
      .
      I’m sure you can root for your friend when he plays ‘other’ teams (notably Hornets, Nuggets, Heat, Celtics, etc. :)

      • Cody

        It was good to see Luke Walton play. I missed him. Also I would only vote for him if he playes those team, because he is a LAKER hater so he wont get my praise.

  • wbgk1979

    Incredible!
    .
    Lakers continu their winning streak. What a start of the season (despite the absence of ‘Drew).
    Gasol is surely a MVP contestant.
    I’m still amazed by the leap forward Shannon has made during the summer.

  • jenster

    is anybody else surprised by the change in Shannon brown’s confidence?! it’s awesome! keep it up shannon.

    • ICE CREAM MAN

      It’s funny what motivates people. He was getting to be known as a dunker ONLY that’s why teams didn’t rush out to get him. Now that he decided to get a shot going (something he should of done a long time ago), he is a deadly part in our bench. It’s a toss up who contributes more off the bench…Brown, Blake, or Barnes. It’s a great problem to have!

  • Blaze 1 4 da nation

    Let me see you guys do it portland. We will dominate on our home floor!!

    • Jkal

      LOL

    • le-elbow =)

      lol did you seriously just come here and trashtalk? you just got blown out you have nothing to say GTFO

    • 242LakerFan

      Be careful what you wish for…

    • darylkris

      we did it in portland last season. without kobe lol

    • LizzakeShizzow

      We did it on February 6th 2010 on your floor. Painful memories may be easy to dismiss for you…

  • Althelakerfanyoushouldmeet

    Doing it in Portland is very high on the Lakers list I guarantee you it’s a preseason goal a minor goal during there march to the title.

  • 242LakerFan

    Nothing much to say; just sitting back and smiling while the Lakers bulldoze the league.
    NWA

  • Flow

    Much more impressive then the Heat’s pathetic home win over weak New Jersey, but to read the reports or watch nba-tv, espn or any other east coast bias reporting, you’d never know. Portland was in first place, on a roll and the Lakers hammered them. This team is scary good, even better than last years but noone notices, a great position to be in. Thank you Miami.

    • deems

      hahaha if the playoffs started today Cleveland would be playing Miami in the first round with Cleveland having home court… stupid but just saying

  • More Cookies 4 Kob

    A team this good only comes around once a decade.

  • DCLakeshow

    With so much BS in professional sports (unfortunately I’m a Cowboy’s fan), one should never feel overly comfortable with a good starting record. I believe the saying goes, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.” HOW TRUE. BUT… I will say this, with guys like Kobe and Pau, who study, love and ultimately want to be associated with greatness in the game of basketball, I feel very comfortable in knowing that they will do whatever it takes to be in a winning position at the end of the year.

  • http://therealkobebryant24.com kb24

    Great win for the Lakers. Kobe was quite. Pau had a huge game, lets keep this momentum going

  • PP34

    Calm down Laker fans. Ya’ll havent played anyone yet.

    • LakersFirst

      You’re impatient aren’t you. Don’t worry, the Lakers will beat the crap out of the Suckdics soon enough (just like last year). Wait your turn

      • BLACK Ops MAMBA

        WE’LL HAVE PLENTY OF WHEELCHAIRS READY FOR YOU TOO!!!

  • Nick The Quick

    Is that a diss to kobe??Matt Barnes said he tries to cut the head off the snake.

    Ok i’m joking, maybe i’m mad because he stole the number of Van Excel!

  • j

    Great job by the Lakeshow again. And to think, this is all withOUT Bynum so far. That’s just another bullet in the chamber…

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